Choked | Granta

  • Published: 02/04/2020
  • ISBN: 9781846276477
  • Granta Books
  • 304 pages


Beth Gardiner

Every year, air pollution prematurely kills seven million people around the world, in rich countries and poor ones. It is strongly linked to strokes, heart attacks, many kinds of cancer, premature birth and dementia, among other ailments.

In Choked, Beth Gardiner travels the world to meet the scientists who have transformed our understanding of pollution’s effects on the human body, and to trace the economic forces and political decisions that have allowed it to remain at life-threatening levels. But she also focuses on real-world solutions, and on inspiring stories of people fighting for a healthier future. Compellingly written, and alive with the personalities of the people who study, breathe and fight bad air, Choked is a vital contribution on one of the most important – but too often ignored – issues of our time.

Gardiner is nuanced but sharp with in her judgements...You couldn't ask for a better guide for non-specialists and concerned citizens... Gardiner remains guardedly optimistic

Caspar Henderson, Guardian

Beth Gardiner's powerful account of what the air we breathe is doing to our bodies couldn't be more timely. Choked tells a gripping, complex tale full of memorable characters - starring one of the deadliest villains of all time, air pollution. It illuminates some disturbing realities, but it also gives us hope by showing us what we can do to clean our air. This is an urgent, essential read

Arnold Schwarzenegger

[Choked reveals] a shocking litany of damaged lives [...] in stark and vivid terms

Robin McKie, Observer

The Author

In her more than twenty years as a journalist, Beth Gardiner‘s work has been published in the New York Times, the Guardian, National Geographic and the Washington Post, and she is a former long-time Associated Press reporter. She has appeared on the BBC, Sky News, ITV and LBC talk radio.

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‘After all my travels, I can see now what I couldn’t when I started. In the suffering pollution brings, there is also the glimmer of a different future, its outlines visible through the haze.’